A couple of trillion dollars of freshly created debt and a collapsing currency (which did nothing for the trade balance which was described as "not very solid" by authorities) along with a dead stock market, a bond market at record low yields (unconvinced at any recovery) and a housing bubble and China's National Statistics Bureau 'nails it' with 'meets' across the board (albeit Industrial production disappointed).
Yuan is accelerating weaker to 6 year lows… (but it didn't help trade)
And yet another resurgence in total social financing (aggregate credit) In China…
And the data was a snoozefest:
- Industrial Production YoY MISS: 6.1% vs +6.3% Exp from +6.3% prior (6.0% to 6.5% range)
- Retail Sales YoY MEET: +10.7% vs +10.7% Exp from +10.6% prior (10.5% to 11.0% range)
- Fixed Assets Investments YTD YoY MEET: +8.2% vs +8.2% Exp from +8.1% prior (8.0% to 8.6% range)
- GDP YoY MEET: +6.7% vs +6.7% Exp from +6.7% prior (6.4% to 6.9% range)
Bloomberg notes that the industrial output gain is weaker than forecast while retail sales are bang in line – confirming the narrative that China's economy is rebalancing steadily toward consumption from manufacturing.
It seems the surge in credit is not helping…
NBS says in statement that China's economy still faces uncertainties. Sheng says economic situation generally stable in Jan.-Sept.
China’s economy remained stable in the third quarter, all but ensuring the government’s full-year growth target will be hit and paving the way for a policy switch toward reining in financial risks.
Bloomberg's Chief Asia Economics Correspondent Enda Curran notes:
These numbers put to bed any talk of a Chinese hard landing in 2016. Anything can happen in the final quarter, of course, but it's hard to see the narrative shifting too much as we head into a year of political change.
The bigger issue now is whether the authorities have the confidence to take on the really thorny issues around paring back debt and leverage. That very much remains to be seen.
Top three challenges in the coming months: containing the property surge, paring back debt and, let's not forget, keeping a lid on capital outflows.
If the Fed ever does get round to hiking and the dollar resumes its rally, that will put downward pressure on the yuan and test the resolve of SAFE to defend it.
* * *
The reaction to the data – for now – is a rebound weaker in the Yuan (marginal) and a tick or two in USDJPY and US equity futures. Stephen Innes, a Singapore-based senior trader at foreign exchange company OANDA, said:
"There was a collective sigh of relief with the key GDP print coming in on the government target.
As the dust settles with the retail sales print looking rather bouncy, the China economy as a whole appears to be in better shape than some of the pessimistic analysts' reads heading into the data. Global risk should remain supported."